Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Pinocchio Syndrome

I have a solution for all our political woes. An implant that would cause a politician's nose to grow every time a lie escapes his lips. Man, you wouldn't be able to maneuver through the halls of Congress!

It would also be a blessing when it comes to deciphering which candidates are playing loose with the truth. Take Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and his war record. Blumenthal is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd, no stranger to mis-truths himself. He called a press conference today to dance away a New York Times story which revealed he mislead voters about his war record. Only on a few occasions, mind you, and it shouldn't denigrate the fact that he did serve in the Marine reserves which he claimed to have joined by looking them up in the yellow pages and calling.

Someone, and I think it's Blumenthal, is missing the point. No one is denigrating what he did, but rather what he said he did and did not. Serve in Vietnam. I am no authority on how the draft worked back in those days, but getting five deferments doesn't sound to me like he was anxious to risk life and limb. Ending up in the reserves is suspect unto itself, but as I said, I'm no authority.

Had he let slip once that he served in Vietnam, it could be construed as misspeaking but records should he made the same statement time and time again. He has it backwards when he accuses the Times of an "outrageous distortion".

I haven't yet decided how I feel about the men from the VFW who stood behind him in support. Did they really believe it was a collection of statements of no consequence? Were they blinded by the man and his position? I can't imagine actual Vietnam vets wanting someone who did not serve claiming to have done so for political gain.

We the people got lucky this time. Someone blew the whistle prior to an election and the press did a good job in substantiating it.

One Democratic operative compared Blumenthal's statements to those of candidate Hillary speaking of her experience under fire in Bosnia when tape showed a gathering of small children singing and bearing flowers. "It wasn't the end of Hillary Clinton." Wasn't it? So too should it be the end of Mr. Blumenthal. How can voters know now what is and what is not truth? From a state Attorney General no less!

I wonder if anyone has ever done a study, there are so many, on the length of politicians' noses as a ratio to their accidental misstatements.

1 comment:

nan16 said...

Woo Hoo, thanks for this one!